Big Bear Visit and More - UPDATE May 1, 2020

A bear that could reach up 89 inches visited here overnight, but there were no eyes of the night to give details or a picture. Maybe better tonight. Action is starting.American merganser pairAmerican merganser pair

Yesterday, I saw something I haven’t seen before—a raven with bologna. I don’t know where it got it. I suspect a gull that leaped up to catch it and continued in flight dropped it.Raven with bolognaRaven with bologna

Red maple flowers are beginning to burst. Barely started at this time, these flowers show male stamens clustered in the buds ready to extend. Red maple buds burst into flowers before leaves form, and female flowers become mature seeds before the leaves are fully formed. A red maple tree can have all male flowers, all female flowers, or some of each.

Doe and fawn Doe and fawn Out the window, waterfowl are battling over females. A couple days ago, four American mergansers (3 males and a female) arrived in tight formation, landed, and went at it. The female’s mate must have defended her well because shortly after the interlopers kept their distance—20-40 yards. The female calmly followed her mate and stayed close by him when they stopped to preen after the battle. They both looked unscathed. The interlopers paddled toward them a couple times but stopped about 20 yards away. One of them soon flew off.

A few minutes later, a male bufflehead vigorously chased a male that came too close.

A calmer scene was mother deer licking the faces of their fawns from last year or eating with their heads together—a scene that will cease in about a month when the mothers give birth.

Battling mergansersBattling mergansers Red maple bud openingRed maple bud opening Bufflehead chaseBufflehead chase

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center